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Week 3. During the third week, there's less classroom learning, and more on-hands learning. Your classroom work will consist of training about Naval history, laws of armed conflict, money management, shipboard communications, navy ships and aircraft (fixed wing and rotary wing), and basic seamanship. You'll recap these with your second written test.

After that, put on your gloves, and dust off your knot-making techniques, as you'll get to practice basic line-handling skills (after all, we can't have new recruits tying a slip-knot and allowing that aircraft carrier to drift away from the dock. This would upset the Captain, and would undoubtedly irritate your chief). You'll also get direct experience and practice in first aid techniques. Of course, during week three, the yelling, drill, and physical training will continue.

Week 4. During week 4, you'll note that you're not being yelled at quite so much. It seems that either the RDCs are slacking off, or you and your shipmates are starting to get your act together. Depending upon what kind of shape you were in to start with, you may also note that your muscles don't hurt as much when you wake up each morning. This is a good thing, as week 4 will be your initial Physical Training Test. If you don't do well on this test, you'll find yourself in line for some "individual training," and remember what I said about not wanting to do that. Nope. No fun at all.

The Navy PT Test consists of sit-reach, curl-ups, push-ups, and running/or swimming. The Navy is the only military service which tests for flexibility. They do this by means of a sit-reach test. The testee sits on the ground with his/her legs stretched out in front, knees straight, and toes pointed straight up. Without jerking or bouncing, you lean forward and touch your toes with your fingers. You must continue to touch your toes for at least one second. You get three tries.

Curl-ups are just sit-ups with knees bent, and arms crossing your chest. You must score a "Good" or better on each area of the PT Test in order to graduate Navy Boot Camp. (After Boot Camp, it's merely necessary to score a "Satisfactory" or better on the PT Tests).

Also during the fourth week, you'll pick up your dress uniforms (hopefully, they fit now!), and get graduation (yearbook) pictures taken.

Week 5. The fifth week of Navy Boot Camp *USED* to be "Service Week." This was the week that recruits helped to keep Great Lakes clean, most especially in the kitchen (except, in the Navy, it's known as a "Galley.") The Galley at Great Lakes takes a lot of cleaning up. In 1988 the Galley served 9.45 million meals, consisting of 146,000 pounds of ground beef, 447,000 loaves of bread, 261,000 gallons of milk, and 223,000 pounds of chicken.

However, in October of 2003, the Navy eliminated "Service Week." All of this "cleaning up" is now done by civilian contractors. The recommendation to eliminate Service Week was made by the Navy Training Board of Advisors, which is a group of Training School Commanders and Command Master Chiefs from the Fleet, who meet periodically to review Navy Training.

The elimination of Service Week has created more than 30 additional hours that can be used for recruit training and administrative tasks. The Navy is using this additional time during week #5 to add the following:

  • Increasing the number of live rounds fired with the M-9, 9mm handgun from five rounds to 40 rounds.
  • Firing five “frangible” training rounds on a Mossberg shotgun.
  • Extensive anti-terrorism/force-protection briefings on threat conditions, history of terrorism and steps sailors can take to present less of a potential target.
  • Computer classes and familiarization with the Navy Knowledge Online Web site.
  • Eight one-hour mentoring sessions, with RTC staffers and a RDC.

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